October’s Full Moon Dinner Benefiting the Family Resource Center

October’s full moon fell on Wednesday, October 24th, one week before Halloween, so it seemed fitting to choose a Halloween related theme for our Full Moon Dinner. Our chefs came up with the theme of Let’s Play Dress Up playing on the holiday tradition of dressing up in costume. The evening’s playful menu, designed by Head Chef Lori, featured food in disguise using molecular gastronomy to transform familiar flavors into unexpected dishes. The October Full Moon Dinner was also a benefit for the Family Resource Center who received the proceeds from the event totaling over $800.

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To begin the meal diners were served a surprise amuse bouche of dehydrated olive soil, radish, and goat cheese foam made using whipped xanthan gum. The first course followed, a watermelon salad with compressed watermelon, basil gelee, feta mousse, and a walnut lace cookie. The light, slightly sweet starter was paired with a 2017 Sauvion Les Fondettes Sancerre.

 

For the second course our chefs constructed a seafood Neapolitan tower from crispy dough layers and fresh caught fish served over a red pepper roulie. The seafood course was paired with a chilled glass of 2015 Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse.

 

 

Taking a twist on a classic French dessert, the third course presented by Chef Lori was a savory foie gras creme brulee served with a glass of 2014 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas from the central coast of California.

 

 

Our palate cleansing intermezzo followed, a perfect bite of liquid pea ravioli spheres served with a sprig of fresh mint. Pulling from her molecular gastronomy knowledge Chef Lori used cold oil spherification to make the unique dish dropping cooled oil into warm agar (a vegetarian alternative to gelatin made from a seaweed base) to form the ravioli spheres.

 

 

Our smoked beef tartare for the fourth course was served still smoking (see the video on our Facebook page), the technique adding a fun and aromatic element to the dish that complimented the savory aspects of the beef and the egg yolk, which was cured with alder wood smoked sea salt and sugar for 16 hours. The tartare was served with a fresh herb salad and a glass of 2010 Numanthia Tempranillo, known for its deep and dense flavors.

6th dessertDessert for the October Full Moon Dinner was a beetroot, dark chocolate, raspberry, and black olive dish conceived through the principles of Foodpairing, a culinary technique that creates dishes by matching the key aromas for each ingredient. In this dish the beetroot shares woody notes with the chocolate and olives while also matching to the lighter, floral notes of the raspberries. Put all together the seemingly disparate ingredients act in unison to produce a uniquely harmonious dessert. It was paired with a glass of 2013 Terraza Single Vineyard Malbec, a wine with complimentary berry and chocolate flavors.

group picProceeds from the dinner, $825 in total, were donated to the Family Resource Center , a non-profit group that works tirelessly to end family violence in the Virgin Islands and offer support and shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. At St. John Catering we are proud to support this local USVI non-profit and want to thank everyone at our October Full Moon Dinner that helped us raise money for their cause.

Our next Full Moon Dinner is Saturday, November 24th. The theme will be Black & White as November’s full moon is the White Moon and the date of the full moon falls just after Black Friday. Like our previous Full Moon Dinners, the meal will feature a one night only menu with five delectable courses for $95 per person. For our November Full Moon Dinner, a Caribbean Wine Club pairing will also be available for an additional $30 per person.

The remaining Full Moon Dinner dates for the 2018/2019 winter season are:

  • November 24, 2019 // THEME: Black & White
  • December 2018: no full moon dinner
  • January 21, 2019 // THEME: Packages & Parcels
  • February 19, 2019 // THEME: Little Baby Things

Full Moon Dinners are held at Lucky Chops Lounge in Cruz Bay (at the former Fish Trap restaurant space) and hosted in partnership with St. John Catering. Full Moon Dinners are one night only events with limited available seating, so reservations are required (340-690-3868).

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October’s Full Moon Dinner happening NEXT WEEK (10/24)

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We’re so excited to be coming up on the second FULL MOON DINNER of 2018, which is happening Wednesday, October 24th at Lucky Chops Lounge. Last month’s dinner, Arabian Nights, was a hit with a menu that showcased the exotic cuisine of the Middle East and was inspired by the Harvest Full Moon.

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For October’s Full Moon Dinner the chefs are drawing on the Halloween season for inspiration with the theme of the night being Let’s Play Dress Up. The one-night-only menu will feature food in disguise as the chefs use molecular gastronomy and their own creativity to transform ordinary ingredients into fantastic creations as beautiful as they are delicious(see full menu below). For this Full Moon Dinner there will be a wine pairing to go with the five course meal, and the wines served will also be available for purchase at wholesale price on the evening of the event.

Reservations are required for all Full Moon Dinners, so call today to reserve your spot for this one-night-only culinary event (340-690-3868)

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Arabian Nights for the Harvest Full Moon Dinner

When the Harvest Full Moon rose over St. John on September 24th we welcomed guests to our first Full Moon Dinner since Hurricane Irma hit in 2017. And it seemed fitting that our first full moon dinner would be beneath the Harvest Moon.

The Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the first day of fall, was named for farmers putting in long hours in the autumn to work their land and harvest their summer crops. Though there isn’t much farming on St. John now, this past year we’ve seen many hard days and long nights as we too work our land rebuilding St. John post-hurricanes. However, the Harvest Moon isn’t just about work; it’s also about the bounty of the earth, about reaping what you sow, and being thankful for what you have. That message also rang true this year for all of us as at St. John Catering.

So when we started to talk about the return of full moon dinners and our first dinner in September, we wanted a theme that encompassed both the the indefatigable nature represented by the Harvest Moon and the abundance. What we came up with was Arabian Nights; the stories of a woman (Shahrazad) who, for a thousand and one nights, worked to save her own life by placating the murderous King with fantastic stories of adventure and opulence eventually becoming the Queen. From hard work to bounty, so went the story of Shahrazad, and so too was our theme for the evening.Arabian menu + drinksInspired by Arabian Nights, which was a collection of stories from around Asia and the Middle East, Chef Jehoiada “Jeh” Roberts conceptualized the menu for the Arabian Nights Full Moon Dinner so that it would highlight dishes from around the region.

1_amuseDiners began the meal with a special amuse bouche of a Dueling Beet Hummus Cucumber Cup prepared by the Head Chef of the evening, Lori Dudkin, along with a glass of spiked carrot kombucha with cantaloupe juice. The kombucha was brewed by our sister company and co-host for the evening, Lucky Chops Lounge.

Next came the first course: Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds. Chef Lori’s daughter even made a special trip to St. Thomas just for said pomegranate because it is such an important ingredient in traditional Middle-Eastern cuisine, having been cultivated and cooked within the region since ancient times.

1st course.jpgThe second course served was Shorabit Jarjir, a red lentil and squash soup. Its earthy flavors were perfectly suited for our first fall dinner (autumn having officially started just two days before on Sept. 22). We served our soup with house-made grilled flat bread, and for guests having the drink pairings a glass of Alois Lageder 2012 Pinot Bianco.

To cleanse the palate, we next served a vegan Mango Sorbet, which obtained its creaminess from the natural texture of the fruit.

The main course for our Arabian Nights dinner was Djaj Bil-Bahar Il-Asfar. This dish comes from Iraq and is an intensely fragrant yellow spice-rubbed chicken that we served with a pearl couscous that was tossed with bits of dried fruit and almonds for crunch. The dish was paired with a crisp glass of Simi Chardonnay 2016 Sonoma County.Main & Dessert.jpgThe meal ended on sweet note with a bountiful piece of Semolina Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Water and a glass of Bedin Rose Frizzante, a Merlot Rose from Veneto, Italy. Chef Lori made some Hibiscus Syrup to brighten the plate and cut through the dense cake.  Guests also got a sweet treat to take home with them, a piece of handmade baklava.diner guestsWe hope all our guest who attended the Arabian Nights Full Moon Dinner enjoyed the evening. For us it was not only a pleasure to cook for our guests, but also a milestone in our recovery story. Hosting the Full Moon Dinner at Lucky Chops Lounge meant restarting a pre-storm tradition in our new post-storm home, our personal bounty after a year of hard work. The creativity and camaraderie of our shared meal was invigorating, and a wonderful reminder of why we started this culinary tradition back in 2016.

group photoNext month the full moon falls on Wednesday, October 24th. Our theme for evening will be Let’s Play Dress Up, a lighthearted meal inspired by the costumes of Halloween that will feature food in disguise. Seating is limited and reservations are required (340-690-3868)

Additional dates for 2018/2019 include:

  • Oct. 24th: Let’s Play Dress Up
  • Nov. 24th: Black Friday, White Moon
  • December: no full moon dinner
  • Jan. 21st: Packages & Parcels
  • Feb. 19th: Little Baby Things

 

Full Moon Dinners Return

Before the storms last September, St. John Catering had the tradition of hosting monthly full moon dinners at our Windy Level Event Center. These monthly pop-up events were popular with locals and tourists looking for a unique, one of a kind dining experience on St. John. Each full moon dinner featured a themed menu and optional drink pairing served beneath a beautiful full moon on the patio at Windy Level Event Center.

Pre full moon dinners

However, this tradition stopped when Irma hit and the Windy Level Event Center was destroyed. Since then owner Mathayom and his crew have been working hard to rebuild St John Catering finding a new home at Lucky Chops Lounge in Cruz Bay. Now, a year after the storms the tradition of monthly full moon dinners is returning this time being hosted at Lucky Chops Lounge.

In the past menus for full moon dinners have ranged from explorations of local cuisine and produce, such as at our Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner, to bountiful samplings of exotic and unique flavors such as our Thai One On or Kickin’ Ash dinners. For the return of Full Moon Dinners on September 24th the theme will be Arabian Nights, a celebration of bounty and thankfulness in honor of the harvest moon.

Arabian Nights menu

Reservations are recommended as seating will be limited for this special event; call Lucky Chops to make a reservation (340-690-3868). If you can’t make the first Full Moon Dinner mark your calendar with the upcoming Full Moon Dinner dates as this will again be a monthly event:

  • October 24: Let’s Play Dress Up
  • November 24: Black Friday, White Moon
  • December: no full moon dinner
  • January 21: Packages & Parcels
  • February 19: Little Baby Things

Like us on Facebook or follow our blog for updates and the latest information on full moon dinners and other special events.

St. John Catering: 6 months after the storms

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From destruction comes opportunity, and for us at St. John Catering & Mathayom Private Chefs, we have certainly borne witness to this truth. Having experienced both the destructive forces of the 2017 hurricane season on St. John as well as the new growth and rebuilding efforts on island that came as a result, we are proud to share our progress with you.

In September 2017 we lost our Windy Level Event Space in Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm which along with Hurricane Maria ravaged the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In the months since we’ve been working hard to rebuild under the guidance of Owner/Head Chef Mathayom Vacharat operating first briefly through the Little Olive Food Truck in Cruz Bay before moving to our new permanent home at Lucky Chops in the former Fish Trap restaurant (scheduled to open in Spring 2018).

Our new space at Lucky Chops has afforded us a new home with larger kitchen and storage facilities, plus a newly renovated space for events right in the heart of Cruz Bay. We have indoor and covered outdoor seating, as well as a private, 800 square foot, air-conditioned bar, where we can host upwards of 100 guests.  We will be serving fast-casual Asian inspired appetizers and small plates, and the vibe will be relaxed and spacious.

The new location will also serve as home base for St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs. The kitchen is up and running, which means we are now ready, willing and 100% able to handle any catering or private chef needs for the 2018 season and beyond. Our prices will remain unchanged for this season, and we plan to revise our catering menus over the summer.

So please keep us in mind for all your catering needs from intimate in-villa dinners to extravagant beach weddings, and as the new culinary destination coming soon to Cruz Bay. We are here to serve the community of St. John and the Virgin Islands, and are extremely grateful to still be doing so.

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Transformation is underway at Raintree Court in Cruz Bay!

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The St. John Catering team is busy completing the process of renovating the former Fish Trap restaurant, which permanently closed its doors after the hurricane season in 2017.  We wish former proprietors Aaron and Lisa all the best in their future endeavors, and thank the entire Willis family for the opportunity to continue serving the community of St. John.

We are extremely excited to announce that our newest venture, the Lucky Chops lounge, will be opening soon in this space. With a welcoming, relaxed island feel right in the heart of Cruz Bay, Lucky Chops will feature an expansive covered outdoor seating area and an 800 square foot enclosed air-conditioned bar.

In addition to the bar menu which includes Chef Mathayom’s island-famous home-brewed Kombucha, cocktails, and cold beer; the small plates menu will showcase Asian-inspired dishes with a focus on being fresh, fast, frugal, and family-friendly – somewhere between regular bar fare, fine dining, and the currently-trending fast-casual service.

While the renovations are being finished at Lucky Chops, the kitchen is already open for our St. John Catering clients. Chef Mathayom Vacharat and his team are already hard at work with weddings, private dinners and charity events on St John, St Thomas and beyond.

Last month’s “Hit Makers and Rum Chasers” benefit in Nashville was a great success and brought in over $50,000 in much-needed donations to the Virgin Islands schools and children’s organizations, and we were grateful to be a part of it.

As we focus on our new venture, we will be ending our partnership with the Little Olive food truck at the end of February so that we can plan a grand opening for Lucky Chops sometime in March 2018. But keep your eye out on Little Olive’s specials board, you might get a taste of what’s to come as we test out recipes for Lucky Chops!

Stay tuned to the St. John Catering blog and Facebook page for more updates and information on our progress, and thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout the years.

 

Fish Trap gets new life with St. John Catering

We are excited to announce that Mathayom Private Chefs and St. John Catering is taking over the restaurant formerly known as the Fish Trap in Cruz Bay.

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The move represents a huge move forward for us after losing our previous space, Windy Level, in Hurricane Irma last September. Since then the team, under Chef/Owner Mathayom Vacharat, has been working hard to rebuild taking over the Little Olive Food Truck in December and the Fish Trap starting in 2018. We have also continued to provide the best in catering and private chef services across St. John and the Virgin Islands and are now taking reservations for the 2018 season.

As for our new space at the former Fish Trap restaurant owner Mathayom says, “We are going to make some big changes and hope to have our new space up and operating by mid-February,” so stay tuned for the grand unveiling in 2018. “And a big thank you to all the friends, family, and clients who have helped us get back on track so quickly; we look forward to serving the community once again.”

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